Shiatsu is a Japanese word meaning "finger pressure". Its roots can be traced to China and it has evolved into a distinct art in Japan over hundreds of years.
The founder of Shiatsu Therapy, Tokujiro Namikoshi-sensei, at the age of seven, cured his mother from rheumatism. He used only his thumbs, fingers and palms in applying pressure to her body. This was the beginning of Shiatsu in 1912.
His ongoing studies lead him to the establishment of an anatomical and physiological theory of Shiatsu. He further developed his theory at his school which he opened to train Shiatsu therapists.
As a result of continued presentation of his work, in 1964 the Ministry of Health of the Japanese National Government recognized Shiatsu as a uniquely Japanese therapeutic treatment.
How Shiatsu is used
Shiatsu is usually performed on a mat on the floor. No oils are used and the recipient remains clothed. Light to medium pressure is applied with the thumbs, fingers, and hands along channels or "meridians" that help to balance and free the flow of physical and mental energy. When appropriate, a shiatsu therapist can create deep pressure with elbows, knees, and feet. Shiatsu therapy also uses soft tissue manipulation and stretching.
Shiatsu and acupressure are both forms of Asian Bodywork Therapies. They use pressure, stretching, and other manipulations to relieve stress, strain and pain. They both promote healing of the body.
Precautions to acupressure / Shiatsu treatments
Acupressure is generally very safe. Should you suffer from cancer, arthritis, heart disease, or other chronic condition, be sure to have a discussion with your doctor before attempting any therapy that involves moving joints and muscles, such as acupressure.
Deep tissue work such as acupressure, should be avoided if:
cancer has spread to the bone or if a tumour is present or,
you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or a bone disease that could be made worse by physical manipulation or,
you have varicose veins or,
you have any spinal injuries or,
you are pregnant (because certain points can induce contractions)
Benefits to Shiatsu massage: (Body stretching Massage)
Restore and maintain the body’s energy, especially helpful to those suffering from fatigue and overall weakness
Reduces stress and tension as well as anxiety and depression
Relief from headaches
Promotes healing from sprains and similar injuries
Helps bring relief to arthritis sufferers
Reduces problems with stiff neck and shoulders as well as backaches
Coughs, colds, and other sinus and respiratory problems
Helps those dealing with insomnia
Aids in treatment of such various things as digestive disorders, bowel trouble, morning sickness, and menstrual problems.
History of acupressure
Acupressure is an ancient therapy, part of traditional Chinese/Asian medicine. Unlike acupuncture, acupressure is non invasive; it uses pressure instead of needles where pressure is applied to specific points on the surface of the skin (acupoints) – the same points as used in acupuncture.
As with acupuncture, this form of therapy is based on theories of ”life energy” or chi where it is believed that chi flows through the body
along pathways called meridians.
There are 14 meridians corresponding to the body’s organs. Where energy (chi) flow is blocked along the meridians, this leads to an imbalance in the body, and thus, illness. In Chinese medicine it is believed that individuals can restore their own health by taking personal responsibility, by using the relevant acupressure point(s), and by having regular massage treatments.
How acupressure works
Acupressure treatments involve the stretching and massaging of the body by the practitioner’s use of their fingers, palms, elbows or feet, or special devices to apply pressure to the body’s acupoints.
During an acupressure session, you lie fully clothed on a soft massage table or floor mattress. The practitioner gently presses on acupressure points on your body. A session typically lasts about one hour. Several regular sessions give optimal results.
The goal of acupressure or other types of Asian bodywork is to restore balance to the body's channels of energy and to regulate opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy).
Regular treatments reduce muscle tension, improve the body’s circulation, and stimulate production of endorphins, which are natural pain relievers.
Benefits to Acupressure massage:
Boost the immune system
Eliminates toxic waste build-up in the body
Stimulate the lymph drainage
Improves blood circulation
Some of the specific ailments it can provide relief for include:
Mental & physical stress
Depression & anxiety
Sore body syndrome
History of Chair Massage
Not long ago, in the early 1980's, David Palmer (founder of the Touch-Pro Institute) considered ways to make massage more acceptable to the general public.
As both a practitioner and teacher of chair massage as well as traditional Japanese massage; he formulated a combination of deep tissue, acupressure, stretching and percussion techniques.
Having people remain clothed during massage overcame the first obstacle. Then, in 1986 he invented the portable massage chair for it to become more conveniently available. With this mobility of the chair, he could bring massage to the people, anywhere, anytime; and the term On Site Chair Massage was born.
Benefits of Massage chair treatments
Reduces muscular tension
Stimulates lymphatic tissues – and thereby flushing out toxins
Helps to relieve muscle stiffness
Reduces stress-induced tension
Releases endorphins (feel-good hormone) into the blood stream
Reduces fatigue, anxiety and depression
Helps provide a basis for better quality of sleep
Clients have been pleasantly surprised by how satisfying the chair massage experience can be. With the variety of techniques and sequences used, you will experience great satisfaction with this short invigorating massage.